Much of our office work was saved on discs compatible with the Ami Pro word processor on our old Hewlett-Packard computer and now need to be transferred into our new Windows XP/Office XP system. Is it possible to program my new Dell computer to accept my old AMI Pro discs? Please don't tell me that they all have to be retyped.
A $149 upgrade to Corel's new WordPerfect Office 12 is exactly the tool you need.
By contrast, as privately held Corel Corp. struggles to get by with about 5 percent of the office software market that Microsoft dominates, WordPerfect has been tweaked to handle the formats used by just about all of the past victims of Bill Gates' software giant.
WordPerfect therefore will not only open stuff written in Lotus Ami Pro, it also will save it in the Microsoft Word 2003 format or any other format of Word. This includes the versions from Word 1 to Word 5 that no longer are usable in Microsoft Word.
WordPerfect Office 12 will handle a couple dozen formats from the bad old days, including such one-time stars as XyWrite, Professional Write, Office Writer, Volkswriter and WordStar.
As I said, $149 is the upgrade price for WordPerfect Office 12, but you certainly qualify because you definitely own Microsoft Word.
A second - but far less effective - option is to acquire software called Quick View, which will read those AMI Pro relics and let you copy the words for pasting into Office, but you'll lose all of the formatting controls. As a result, the documents will be far less useful in the future.
If you do decide to go the Quick View route, you can find Quick View 8 Plus for $35 as a download and $39 in a box.
The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. James Coates may be contacted via e-mail at jcoates@ tribune.com.